University of Delaware Office of Public Relations The Messenger Vol. 6, No. 1/1996 Recognition: A Special Report R.R.M. Carpenter III: Portrait of 'the Consummate Volunteer' RR.M. (Ruly) Carpenter III was 3 years old in November 1943, when his grandfather bought the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. As a boy of 10, he recalls, "I knew all the players by name, and I was always thrilled to see home games at Connie Mack Stadium." Ruly Carpenter was 32 when his father stepped down as team president, leaving his son in charge. Eight years later, the Phillies won the 1980 World Series Championship-the only such win in the history of the franchise. Carpenter sold the Phillies to William Giles in 1981, but sports are still a big part of his life. Today, he channels much of his enthusiasm for athletics into countless volunteer projects at the University of Delaware. "In today's economic climate, volunteers are critical to the health of the University," notes Charles Forbes, vice president of development and alumni relations. "Ruly Carpenter and his family have done a great deal for the University and for the state of Delaware. He truly is the consummate volunteer." Carpenter is a member of the Board of Trustees, serving as chairman of the Committee on Student Life and Athletics. He also was instrumental in raising private funds to help build the Bob Carpenter Sports/Convocation Center, named in honor of his father, the late R.R.M. (Bob) Carpenter Jr., a generous benefactor who served as a board member for more than 40 years. Why does he devote so much time to the University? Carpenter says he enjoys his interactions with other board members. "They're just good people," he says, "and they're fascinating." Also, he says, "It's kind of a family tradition." Bob Carpenter Jr. was a "great supporter of the football program," according to his son, and the elder Carpenter was instrumental in establishing an annual charitable football game in Delaware to benefit the developmentally disabled. Ruly's mother, Mary Kaye Carpenter, also taught him the value of volunteerism, by founding the Pilot School for children with learning disabilities and by her involvement in numerous charitable events. A graduate of Yale University who attended business management and accounting courses at Delaware before shepherding the Phillies to national prominence, Ruly Carpenter also is a trustee of the Tower Hill School in Wilmington and he's on the Board of Delaware's Ronald McDonald House. His many volunteer activities are supported by his wife, Stephanie (Conklin) Carpenter, and by his three grown children: R.R.M. (Bobby) Carpenter IV, Delaware '86; David H.C. Carpenter, Delaware '90, and Lucinda Cattermole. "Ruly's just a wonderful person," says Edgar N. Johnson, the UD's director of intercollegiate athletics. "He's a caring, concerned individual who recognizes the value of athletics as part of a quality educational program, and he never hesitates to support our objectives. Our athletics program simply wouldn't be where it is today without the support and guidance of the Carpenter family." University President David P. Roselle agrees. "All of us at the University of Delaware are pleased that Ruly Carpenter is maintaining the Carpenter family tradition of outstanding support for this institution," he says. "We have no better friend than Ruly Carpenter." Carpenter isn't planning to retire from volunteer service anytime soon. "When you're asked to become a trustee at an institution like Delaware, it's really an honor and a privilege to be able to serve," Carpenter says. "I'm going to do it as long as they want me."